Review / Logitech MX Keys

Logitech’s MX Keys [Amazon] is what it finally took to lure me away from mechanical keyboards. It’s a slim yet solidly-constructed full-size model that's similar to and superior to Apple's Magic Keyboard.

It’s flat, minimalist, heavy, solid and low-profile, with large backlit keys typeset in something similar to Futura Light. The keys are square with subtle circular depressions and no give—a big improvement over the wobbly chicklet keys infesting modern non-mechanical keyboards, not least Logitech’s own cheaper models.

It works with USB-C, Bluetooth or the included unifying receiver. (A tiny dongle; I use it instead of Bluetooth as it works in BIOS and I dual-boot). The function keys are on a shift layer, as is now standard. Modifier keys are labeled for both Windows and MacOS, a nice if slightly cluttering touch. Keys are hard to remove; spudge them from the top. The backlighting works even in wireless mode, but will run down the battery quicker. Recharging is via USB-C; there is no removable battery. It's lasted about 10 days so far on the charge it came with. A Logitech app lets a single keyboard and mouse pair be used with any computer on the network, so long as it's installed on both machines.

The MX Keys is essentially the $200 MX Craft [Amazon] without the dial or the bulky rear panel that accomodates it. At $100, the MX Keys is not cheap, but is also no more expensive than similar models such as Apple's or Microsoft's Designer Desktop.

The extra heft and weight is nice, but it's the extra travel and tactility that puts it in a league of its own. I find myself searching for specifics in my usage patterns that warrants these qualities, but I think the plain fact is that unless you're all in for maximal minimalism, the MX Keys is better on any operating system. Writing prose, coding, playing games, all benefit from a bit more click. And Logitech's multi-device features are all but unique.

Shortcomings? Two spring to mind. There are no fold-out feet to angle it differently, and there's no Print Screen or Scroll Lock keys (UPDATE: It does have them, they just use icons instead of text, so I mistook them for app-launching keys). Other than that, an absolutely flawless design.

Logitech MX Keys Advanced Wireless Illuminated Keyboard [Amazon]

MX Keys Wireless Keyboard [Logitech]